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Sewing the Anna Dress in wool

The social media universe is an interesting place to be. My world has expanded and I've found many interesting people (some of my best) this way, and along the path I've picked up numerous sewing feeds.

The Anna Dress came to me this way --from following seamstresses on Instagram that posted pretty pictures of By Hand London projects. When the independent pattern company announced their sew along I hopped on board, promptly spending too much money on delicious silk. Of course, then I was too scared to use it. And then autumn ushered in Portland's rainy days and I felt far more interested in wool.

I traced the pattern weeks ago (US size 4) and on Wednesday I finally knocked out a muslin for fitting. I'm a fair pear in body shape and find this design very flattering -- skimming and flaring in all the right places. Thursday I walked my dog to goodwill and found this fabulous vintage green wool for only $4.99, and when I came home I got to cutting, then overlocked all my pieces to prep for sewing.

I added an inch to the waist, grading down to the hips, and then worried it wouldn't be quite enough ease and sewed the side seams of the dress at 3/8" instead of 5/8". Once the final dress was constructed I worried it was too much ease but it seems just right for the office. I've already had numerous compliments, and the comfort and fit rival my other favorite dress-- my denim Hawthorn by Colette Patterns. I anticipate sewing this pattern again and again!

This was a birthday gift to myself and 28 in wool feels pretty fantastic. My boyfriend took me pumpkin picking and we had loads of fun (and calories-- good thing I had room).

Sewing thoughts: my first invisible zipper, this scared me. I used my overlock stitching as a guide for zipper placement and basted it on before I actually stitched. My local bernina store doesn't stock old-style feet, so I sewed this up with a regular zipper foot and am SO pleased. It's so invisible that a coworker asked how I got into the dress!

I did two rows of stitching on the arm holes, and same for the narrow hem I chose-- wanted to keep the length. I turned a 1/4" pressed, and turned and pressed a 1/4" again, then stitched. 

The dress asked for a lining so I bought enough rayon in orange to make it work, but then decide to rush and finish it without. A slip does fine, and I don't mind wool against my skin. 

Happy sewing!


  1. Very cute! Looks fantastic. Great job!

  2. Very nice! I keep meaning to do more garment sewing. I used to sew a lot of my own clothes and even made my own wedding dress, but since I started quilting I seem to sew all things flat if you know what I mean (ie. quilts, table runners, mug rugs)

  3. Looks so lovely! I have not yet tried sewing wool but it's on my sewing wish list!


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